Previous Speakers

Speech transcripts of the oration’s keynote presentations are available in other formats. Please contact us for details.

Audio transcripts are only available for the  2011, 2009 and 2007 orations.

2011

Human Rights: Sword, Shield or Just Symbolism? - Larissa Behrendt with David Marr - 8 October, 2011

2009

Freedom of speech and its limits - Dr Katharine Gelber - 11 July, 2009

2009 Mitchell Oration transcript

2007

Are human rights the past or the future for Australia? - Professor Hilary Charlesworth - 7 July, 2007

2007 Mitchell Oration transcript

2005

Equal Opportunity at home and abroad - Prof Julian Disney - 10 July, 2005

2005 Mitchell Oration transcript

2003

Dialogue or Monologue – Human Rights in Australia - John von Doussa - 23 November, 2003

2003 Mitchell Oration transcript

2002

The future of Human Rights Globally - Mary Robinson - 11 November, 2002

2002 Mitchell Oration transcript

2001

Justice and Revenge: The Lessons of Sept 11 - Magistrate Geoffrey Robertson QC - 1 November, 2001

2001 Mitchell Oration transcript

2000

The Art of Justice - Professor Peter Sellars - 1 November, 2000

2000 Mitchell Oration transcript

1999

Ageing Triumphantly - Gary Andrews - 1 November, 1999

1999 Mitchell Oration transcript

1998

Human Rights and Human Wrongs - Alice Tay - 30 October, 1998

1998 Mitchell Oration transcript

1997

The pleasing myth of Egalitarian Australia - Hugh Mackay - 10 October, 1997

1997 Mitchell Oration transcript

1996

Thirty Years On, Do We Need a Bill of Rights? - Frank Brennan - 20 September, 1996

1996 Mitchell Oration transcript

1995

Equal Opportunity: The Next Twenty Years - Honourable Justice Catherine Branson - 6 October, 1995

1995 Mitchell Oration transcript

1994

Women, Citizenship and the Law in the coming century - Elizabeth Evatt - 23 September, 1994

1994 Mitchell Oration transcript

1993

Whither Australia? Shaping the Future of our nation - Reverend Peter Hollingworth - 8 October 1993

1993 Mitchell Oration transcript

1992

Human rights & Aborigines: Time for re-appraisal - Magistrate Pat O'Shane - 21 August 1992

1992 Mitchell Oration transcript

1991

Human Dignity for all: A pie in the sky? - Sir Ronald Wilson - 20 September 1991

1991 Mitchell Oration transcript

1990

In the eye of the law: The Jurisprudence of Equality - Honourable Justice Mary Gaudron - 24 August 1990

1990 Mitchell Oration transcript

1989

(Inaugural Oration)

Looking Back... Looking Forward - Dame Roma Mitchell - 11 October 1989

"In this address I have been invited to look back and to look forward. Sometimes, when I stand rooted in the present and survey the situation, I see all the areas in which there is much to be done to ensure their appropriate human rights to all Australians and I find myself inclined to think that we have not made great progress. But, when I look back over my more than fifty years experience in the legal profession, I realize that the advances have been tremendous. That does not mean that those of us who are willing to carry the banner for human rights can afford to relax; but it is only by looking back that we appreciate what has been gained, and it has been gained mainly as a result of legislation and the education programmes which have ensued."

Click to download inaugural Mitchell Oration transcript (PDF format)